COVID-19 Mask Apostasy

 

I went unmasked to the grocery store today, pushing my unmasked 86-year-old father in a wheelchair (in late-stage Parkinson’s, he’s now my permanent wingman). We’ve both long since received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. I didn’t intend to break the local Kroger requirement (in place despite the fact that the state of Arizona’s mask mandate was reversed back in March).  Perhaps it is some kind of unconscious bias or just orneriness, but we arrived at the store with no face coverings, ignored the warnings posted on the door, and went in.  The store was busy as always and everyone, it seemed, wore a mask except for us and a few toddlers.  I smiled at everyone, made small talk and enjoyed the visit.  I did see one other adult patron without a mask and several who had masks, but who let them sag, exposing a nose, or even, dare I mention, a mouth.  We all nodded at each other and quietly laughed.

I otherwise received no wry looks, no reprimands, no comments at all.  I practiced my defense, just in case.  We’d received the vaccines.  Our entire household had been vaccinated.  We posed no threat.  But it never came to that

We checked out.  The cashier wore two masks as well as a little fan mechanism around her neck, a COVID talisman no doubt (you can never be too safe.)  She didn’t acknowledge the nakedness of our faces and was muffled, glib and friendly.  We escaped with our stuff without issue.

It was nice.

***

No one wants to challenge the heterodoxy, to expose themselves to criticism, to even consider whether or not this mask-wearing, hand washing, social distancing stuff makes any sense.  There seems to be significant evidence that these efforts, at least among healthy people, mitigate almost nothing.  PCR tests are unreliable and show false-positive results at alarming rates.  Healthy children are rarely affected by the disease, and even if infected, they do not seem to pass on the virus.  The virus does not seem to linger on surfaces.  Sunlight kills it.  It is significantly dissipated in the fresh air and highly unlikely to result in sufficient loads outdoors to cause transmission.  Its virulence is diminished by heat.  And as for masks, it is difficult to believe that a material 1000 times more porous than the virus could be an effective barrier.  And that’s if the masks are handled and worn correctly.  Masks are literally attempting to dam a river with a fishing net.

So why aren’t there more rebels out there nakedly smiling?  Because the mask is a badge of conformity, a signal of obedience, the cross of the secular state.  The wearers at once are signaling that they believe in the COVID 19 threat, in the government, in what they are told.  They are contrite and faithful.  They refuse to even acknowledge that the risk of COVID might not be all that; that it might be a nasty bug like some colds, flues, and cases of pneumonia that act as the last straw among the sick, the old, and the infirm.  Folks like me who refuse to comply with the stated orthodoxy, who push back and challenge, are apostates and threaten order.  Why, they wonder, challenge the stated dogma?  What purpose does it serve?

Obedience is a virtue, no doubt, but when it demands conformity and crushes debate when it turns blindly mandatory, it is tyranny.

Masks are political, a badge of conformity.  Today, I did not wear one.  Call me disobedient, apostate, but I will not wear another.  Give it a try.  It’s liberating.

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  1. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Same here, at the local grocery stores. I have had the same experience as you, in spite of the statewide mask mandate that I expect to never end. Our Dictator did, however back down a bit this week by not making three counties roll back to the previous “phase” with tighter restrictions on indoor activities. He must have gotten an earful from local businesses who said they would refuse to enforce the restrictions if the county was rolled back. 

    • #1
  2. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I left Arizona for Utah one month ago. I shop at Kroger Stores in both states. Now in Utah the store still has the mask protocol signs up, employees are wearing mask, but I would say at least half of the shoppers are going unmasked, as I do. I have seen no incidents related to the wearing or the absence of masks.

    • #2
  3. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    I left Arizona for Utah one month ago. I shop at Kroger Stores in both states. Now in Utah the store still has the mask protocol signs up, employees are wearing mask, but I would say at least half of the shoppers are going unmasked, as I do. I have seen no incidents related to the wearing or the absence of masks.

    The customer is always right.  And I beleive that most Fry’s employees would like to ditch the masks.  Who would dare cause a row?  Perhaps if a busybody shopper made a scene, but even then, I doubt it.  It is time to unmask and see how far they are willing to go.  I’m game.

    • #3
  4. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    No masks in my area unless its a health care facility or a chain store. 

    • #4
  5. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Doug Kimball: So why aren’t there more rebels out there nakedly smiling?

    Although I believe you’ve described well the unfortunate and annoying virtue-signaling phenomenon that I see in my town and on Cape Cod, I’m seeing something else at work among my family members, which is that one’s opinion of the efficacy of these measures seems to depend on one’s reading. :-)

    I think only the CDC itself will be able to release them from their fear of going maskless and standing four feet away from someone else.

    Had it not been for the Biden campaign, I don’t think this would have been as bad as it is. The Biden campaign really stoked the fear of the Democrats.

    • #5
  6. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    The idiocy ends, when when end it.   Not all heroes wear capes.

    • #6
  7. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Doug Kimball: No one wants to challenge the heterodoxy, to expose themselves to criticism,

    This isn’t true. 

    • #7
  8. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Our church administrative leadership team just last night decided to keep the mask mandate because the CDC says that’s what’s “safe” (Texas). About 25% of the congregation ignores that mandate (and the church isn’t going to evict them from worship). But we in the choir were told we needed to set the example and still wear masks. No one seems to be asking about the fact that the CDC guidelines have no science or logic behind them. Our church leadership unfortunately seems to just believe the CDC pronouncement of what is “safe” and “not safe.” 

    • #8
  9. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Bravo and well done.

    More of this sort of thing, please.

    • #9
  10. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Our church administrative leadership team just last night decided to keep the mask mandate because the CDC says that’s what’s “safe” (Texas). About 25% of the congregation ignores that mandate (and the church isn’t going to evict them from worship). But we in the choir were told we needed to set the example and still wear masks. No one seems to be asking about the fact that the CDC guidelines have no science or logic behind them. Our church leadership unfortunately seems to just believe the CDC pronouncement of what is “safe” and “not safe.”

    Maybe they’re too used to taking orders from “on high”…

    • #10
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Our church administrative leadership team just last night decided to keep the mask mandate because the CDC says that’s what’s “safe” (Texas). About 25% of the congregation ignores that mandate (and the church isn’t going to evict them from worship). But we in the choir were told we needed to set the example and still wear masks. No one seems to be asking about the fact that the CDC guidelines have no science or logic behind them. Our church leadership unfortunately seems to just believe the CDC pronouncement of what is “safe” and “not safe.”

    I wouldn’t say CDC guidelines have no science or logic behind them. But it’s sometimes pretty thin stuff on which to base recommendations that apply to the entire country. When we see guidelines like that it’s good to know what the CDC is basing them on to see if they apply to our own situation. If people aren’t willing to do that, that’s being lazy and irresponsible. If the CDC isn’t willing to describe the basis for its pronouncements in thorough detail, then I take them much less seriously.  There are more informative people to listen to.     

    • #11
  12. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    I left Arizona for Utah one month ago. I shop at Kroger Stores in both states. Now in Utah the store still has the mask protocol signs up, employees are wearing mask, but I would say at least half of the shoppers are going unmasked, as I do. I have seen no incidents related to the wearing or the absence of masks.

    The customer is always right. And I beleive that most Fry’s employees would like to ditch the masks. Who would dare cause a row? Perhaps if a busybody shopper made a scene, but even then, I doubt it. It is time to unmask and see how far they are willing to go. I’m game.

    I’ll be going to Fry’s in the next few days. We’ll see what happens. The last time I went to Safeway I was well inside the store and shopping for my produce when I realized I had forgotten to don my mask. No one said a thing.

    I have been cleaning out my garage cupboards and posting items for sale on Nextdoor. In the last two weeks I have had at least eight individuals come to buy my items and each has started to put on their mask before coming into the house. I always tell them not to bother and every single one has smiled and thanked me. Every single one.

    • #12
  13. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    I left Arizona for Utah one month ago. I shop at Kroger Stores in both states. Now in Utah the store still has the mask protocol signs up, employees are wearing mask, but I would say at least half of the shoppers are going unmasked, as I do. I have seen no incidents related to the wearing or the absence of masks.

    The customer is always right. And I beleive that most Fry’s employees would like to ditch the masks. Who would dare cause a row? Perhaps if a busybody shopper made a scene, but even then, I doubt it. It is time to unmask and see how far they are willing to go. I’m game.

    I’ll be going to Fry’s in the next few days. We’ll see what happens. The last time I went to Safeway I was well inside the store and shopping for my produce when I realized I had forgotten to don my mask. No one said a thing.

    I have been cleaning out my garage cupboards and posting items for sale on Nextdoor. In the last two weeks I have had at least eight individuals come to buy my items and each has started to put on their mask before coming into the house. I always tell them not to bother and every single one has smiled and thanked me. Every single one.

    I can’t speak for anywhere else, but the Walmart closest to me hasn’t had just one entrance open, and masks required on entry, since like October or something.

    • #13
  14. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    I don’t go to restaurants.  Servers with masks does not make for a pleasant evening.  I have kept score as to what stores require a face diaper.  It has made it easier to decide where to give my business and where not too.  Sorry if this offends certain people.

    • #14
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    I don’t go to restaurants. Servers with masks does not make for a pleasant evening. I have kept score as to what stores require a face diaper. It has made it easier to decide where to give my business and where not too. Sorry if this offends certain people.

    Why would you be sorry about offending certain people?  

    • #15
  16. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    I don’t go to restaurants. Servers with masks does not make for a pleasant evening. I have kept score as to what stores require a face diaper. It has made it easier to decide where to give my business and where not too. Sorry if this offends certain people.

    Why would you be sorry about offending certain people?

    The “state” would like to make mask wearing permanent. 

    • #16
  17. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    I don’t go to restaurants. Servers with masks does not make for a pleasant evening. I have kept score as to what stores require a face diaper. It has made it easier to decide where to give my business and where not too. Sorry if this offends certain people.

    Why would you be sorry about offending certain people?

    The “state” would like to make mask wearing permanent.

    So why are you sorry about offending certain people?  

    • #17
  18. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Last April people at our grocery store stopped wearing masks.  Not everyone, about half.  That was the moment of truth.  Two days later the store clamped down on it it and started refusing entry.

    Last month my wife, who is fanatically afraid of the virus, went into the grocery store and completely forgot her mask.  No one stopped her at all.  She was annoyed that no one stopped her.  I try not to call her Karen . . .  My sister is named Karen.  I asked her if it bothered her that people were using her name that way.  What way, she asked?  I said, a Karen is a tattle tale that tries to force people they don’t know to wear a mask.  She was so proud to learn her name was used that way, she’s also terrified of the virus.

    I went to vote in Austin last weekend.  I didn’t wear a mask.  No one stopped me.  I felt good.  I told my wife, and now I’m in trouble again.  

    We’re moving to Amarillo.  I’m told no one wears masks there.  It’s the anti-Austin.

    In 80 years there will still be little old ladies who still wear masks because of the farce we’re living through this year.

    • #18
  19. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    A society built on falsehoods and lies gives one excellent justification to be anti-social. 

    • #19
  20. DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone Member
    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    For me, one of the most liberating things about going into a store maskless (which I have been doing for the last month in spite of our local edicts) is that I am able to smile at people. I can talk to them, laugh with them . . . it’s like there’s a deep joy beneath those masks, waiting to be freed. I haven’t yet been confronted about my masklessness. And I’m seeing more and more of it. Which is wonderful.

     

    • #20
  21. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Skyler (View Comment):
    Last month my wife, who is fanatically afraid of the virus, went into the grocery store and completely forgot her mask.  No one stopped her at all.  She was annoyed that no one stopped her.  I try not to call her Karen . . .  My sister is named Karen.  I asked her if it bothered her that people were using her name that way.  What way, she asked?  I said, a Karen is a tattle tale that tries to force people they don’t know to wear a mask.  She was so proud to learn her name was used that way, she’s also terrified of the virus.

    I don’t know what pre-Covid Thanksgivings were like in your family, but future ones may be more “interesting”.

    • #21
  22. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    But we in the choir were told we needed to set the example and still wear masks.

    Set a proper example then. Don’t wear a mask. Then when you are told you should be setting an example, tell them you are setting the example that should be set.

    • #22
  23. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    The idiocy ends, when when end it. Not all heroes wear capes.

    Or masks.

    • #23
  24. Suspira Member
    Suspira
    @Suspira

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Our church administrative leadership team just last night decided to keep the mask mandate because the CDC says that’s what’s “safe” (Texas). About 25% of the congregation ignores that mandate (and the church isn’t going to evict them from worship). But we in the choir were told we needed to set the example and still wear masks. No one seems to be asking about the fact that the CDC guidelines have no science or logic behind them. Our church leadership unfortunately seems to just believe the CDC pronouncement of what is “safe” and “not safe.”

    I feel you. In my church choir, we sing at half-strength (no more than 12 singers in the choir stalls), more than six feet apart, and masked*. It’s challenging, to say the least.

    *This singer’s mask has been a lifesaver. 

    • #24
  25. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball: No one wants to challenge the heterodoxy, to expose themselves to criticism,

    This isn’t true.

    Hyperbole, my friend.  It’s a rhetorical construct.

    • #25
  26. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Our church administrative leadership team just last night decided to keep the mask mandate because the CDC says that’s what’s “safe” (Texas). About 25% of the congregation ignores that mandate (and the church isn’t going to evict them from worship). But we in the choir were told we needed to set the example and still wear masks. No one seems to be asking about the fact that the CDC guidelines have no science or logic behind them. Our church leadership unfortunately seems to just believe the CDC pronouncement of what is “safe” and “not safe.”

    Faith and obedience, alas…

    • #26
  27. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Our church administrative leadership team just last night decided to keep the mask mandate because the CDC says that’s what’s “safe” (Texas). About 25% of the congregation ignores that mandate (and the church isn’t going to evict them from worship). But we in the choir were told we needed to set the example and still wear masks. No one seems to be asking about the fact that the CDC guidelines have no science or logic behind them. Our church leadership unfortunately seems to just believe the CDC pronouncement of what is “safe” and “not safe.”

    Faith and obedience, alas…

    Some of the compliance or obedience effect we observe likely comes from our society’s litigiousness. Leaders and others who see themselves as shouldering some responsibility act cautiously. Too many lawyers? 

    • #27
  28. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball: No one wants to challenge the heterodoxy, to expose themselves to criticism,

    This isn’t true.

    Hyperbole, my friend, It’s a rhetorical construct.

    I don’t think it’s an exaggeration. It’s just plain wrong. A significant portion of the population in our country and in others is challenging the orthodoxy(*). How else do you account for the anti-lockdown demonstrations and non-compliance around the world?

    (*) If you really meant heterodoxy rather than orthodoxy, then I need to start over. 

    • #28
  29. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Our church administrative leadership team just last night decided to keep the mask mandate because the CDC says that’s what’s “safe” (Texas). About 25% of the congregation ignores that mandate (and the church isn’t going to evict them from worship). But we in the choir were told we needed to set the example and still wear masks. No one seems to be asking about the fact that the CDC guidelines have no science or logic behind them. Our church leadership unfortunately seems to just believe the CDC pronouncement of what is “safe” and “not safe.”

    Faith and obedience, alas…

    Some of the compliance or obedience effect we observe likely comes from our society’s litigiousness. Leaders and others who see themselves as shouldering some responsibility act cautiously. Too many lawyers?

    A question whose answer is always “yes” regardless, even if there are none.

    • #29
  30. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    I’m pretty confident that the face-masking will disappear once we achieve a different kind of “herd immunity,” when a majority or sizeable minority refuse to wear them.

    • #30